Rye’s new Mayor, Councillor Sam Souster, was sworn on May Day as the latest in a long line of Rye Mayors stretching back hundreds of years.
Rye MP Michael Foster, in his speech for the visitors at the Mayoral Banquet told the gathered company, “Bank Holiday Monday was the historic Mayor making in Rye. Councillor Sam Souster was a welcome “Labour Win”, his appointment being the third Labour Mayor that Rye has ever had. To be honest it is not politics but personal ability that decides this position. Congratulations to Sam and Rita (his Mayoress) for a successful term of office.”
Earlier in the day the new Mayor had been kitted out in the regalia of office, made a fine speech in which he heaped deserved praise on outgoing Mayor Paul Osborne, introduced his Mayoress, Rita Cox (thanks to a jog on his arm by the Town Clerk), led the assembly to St. Mary’s for the Mayoring Day Service and returned to the Town Hall to throw hot pennies to the children gathered below.
The hot penny tradition started 150 years ago, when a penny was much larger and purchased far more. Perhaps Michael Foster’s suggestion that hot pounds might be the thing to throw in future years should be considered. There would certainly be a much larger gathering of children if this ‘novel’ idea were to be adopted.
2008 may be a tough year to take on the job of Mayor of Rye. The sharp down turn in the economy will have severe repercussions here. Mayor Souster will need a firm hand on the tiller to steer the town through the difficult days ahead.
There are disagreements among the various tourism groups as how marketing should be conducted, mounting disappointment that construction of the new library has not started, massive opposition to the proposed building of 135 houses in the field north of Udimore Road, more trouble looming on another development around the railway track to the west of the Ferry Road crossing and the ongoing argument on the merits of Area Committees v. Town Quality Status. The new Primary School in Love Lane will create more challenges on how to deal with the extra traffic in the area and there are worries that parents will still continue sending their children to the village schools in preference, leaving Rye Primary School well under capacity.
All these things are important to Rye’s future prosperity and the Town Council, albeit with very limited powers, must take note of, and act upon, the Rye public’s wishes.
The Mayor of Rye, Councillor Sam Souster, is an able man, he will require all his undoubted capabilities to guide Rye through the difficult problems that lie ahead.
Rye’s Own June 2008
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